Indian Medics Wear Black Ribbons To Protest New Quarantine Guidelines

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Not long ago, the Indian government had announced that the lockdown has been extended up to May 31. And, while many of us were upset about having to stay home for a longer time, healthcare workers were concerned about the revised guidelines for lockdown 4.0.

As per the latest guideline by the Union health ministry, healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients in government hospitals will have to vacate the quarantine facilities, reports Hindustan Times. The revised guideline states that only healthcare workers who are in any form of high-risk exposure can reside in the quarantine facilities.

However, medics working around corona positive patients do not wish to put their family members at risk by quarantining at home post their duty. So, in order to express the medical professionals’ disappointment over the new guidelines, the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) India is organizing a ‘black ribbon protest’, reports News18

“It is necessary to stop the spread of the virus among the family members, colleagues and in the community. We urge the Union Health Minister to revisit the guidelines and make necessary amendments. We will have to intensify the agitation if the issues are not adequately addressed,” FORDA President Shivaji Dev Barman was quoted saying. Several doctors from across India participated in the protest by sporting black armbands.

Once the doctors are off duty, they can’t directly go home as they are still at risk of getting the virus. Saksham Mittal, Joint Secretary of FORDA, and Treasurer of the RDA at RML Hospital was quoted saying, “The recent guidelines do not consider the possibility of asymptotic carriers and the accidental exposure of a healthcare worker during the stressful conditions of Covid-19 duties. As the incubation period of the virus is 2-14 days, asking the healthcare workers to resume duty or go home the next day just increases the chance of transmitting the disease to our colleagues and family members.”

The healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients said they needed proper 14 days of accommodation for quarantine once they were off duty. This would ensure that they are not putting anyone at risk. Prateek Goel, General Secretary of the RDA at LNJP Hospital, was quoted saying, “This is to draw the attention of the Union government and the Delhi government so that they can withdraw the ‘no quarantine’ order. We don’t want your ‘Taali’ and ‘Thaali’. We want to serve the community for which we need proper 14 days of quarantine.”

Several government hospitals in Delhi and other states received circulars asking them to vacate the quarantine facilities. However, healthcare workers are hopeful that the protest will yield positive results. Healthcare workers are at the frontline in our war against COVID-19. They deserve appropriate precautionary measures against coronavirus. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

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